Unique timelapse idea – making a movie with stills in burst mode!

by planetmitch19 Comments

We've talked a lot about timelapse and other interesting modes for creating movies and using burst mode is indeed unique. Kaouthia from the HDSLR chat room pointed us at this video made from shooting with the Canon EOS 7D (reviews) in burst mode – gathering 8fps. It gives a distinct old style feel to the video (of course, the author Ryan Hargrave applied some video grading to it as well).

Redrock Micro

If I Was The Sun from Ryan Hargrave on Vimeo.

There's something about looking at a thing without all the gaps filled in that makes it awesome.

Filmed on a Canon 7D in burst mode and stitched back together

Music: Ryan Bingham – That's how strong love is
(originally Otis Redding)

Also from the video comments on vimeo, there's this description from Ryan about the process:

Ryan Hargrave
That's pretty much it. 🙂

I shot everything at JPEG-small resolution on burst mode so I would have a sizable buffer.

Then I used Quicktime 7 to open all the images as an image sequence at 12fps – Saved that out as ProRes 422 – 12fps at full resolution.

I took that file and brought it into a Final Cut 1920 x 1080 ProRes 422 23.98fps sequence and got the scale/crop that I wanted on each “scene”. I render that into a “working file”. Technically I could have applied all my effects to this sequence, but I am on an older Mac Book Pro and it chokes on the large native movie… so I rendered it out instead… plus I'm not worried about degradation here.

So now I have a 1920 x 1080 ProRes 23.98fps movie file(s). These are basically my working files that I import into FCP and apply all the effects to and cut up for the edits.

As to the effects it's basically Colorista II to set the color and blow out the highlights. the Magic Bullet Misfire to apply the fading, scratches, vignette, etc..

Finally I added a mask from FCP and then feathered it a bit to make the crop look good, looped a projector sound effect and there you have it.

I think that is all of the process. Towards the end I realized that if I over exposed the still slightly in the camera it made post a bit easier becuase I didn't have to fake it. All the upfront rendering of the stills and scaling down the full size files were a pain, but it was worth it.


  1. It can be a really great effect. I like the way it was done in the video you linked to give it an old style film sort of effect, but it’s also handy for the popular tilt-shift style too.

    This one from about a year ago was shot (mostly) on the Nikon D3, with one or two sequences on the D80.


    There was a great write-up showing a bit more about the technique here.


    It can be a really great effect when used right.

  2. Hi Ryan, like that top job.

    Now with a bit of Joe Cocker “With a Little Help from My Friends” you would have had “The Wonder Years” title sequence 😉


  3. Uhm couldn’t you just drop the frames in editing would be way less work plus able to keep the sound.

    Only use I would see in taking pictures instead of video would try to render out a 4K video with the pictures.

  4. Chung,

    You can but my experience is that frame dropping is not erratic enough. You don’t get enough anomalies when you do that. It ends up looking like a video that you drop frames out of and not something handcranked and analog.

    You might could create an AE script to randomize the frame dropping. There are a few ways to cheat it but I wouldn’t view the process as “alot” of work. It’s just what’s needed to get the job done.

  5. Pingback: Create cine style movies using stills in burst mode « thinking sideways

  6. Yeah, that’s very cute but not so unique. Rare maybe.
    Anders Forsman and Linus Johansson did a music vid for Cult of Luna back in 2005. I recall it was shot with 1D mk’s burst mode to achieve frame dropping motion. This vid also includes some nice post work with composited elements. Very creative stuff IMO. Also, great music if you’re into heavier stuff.

    Check it out at www.andersforsman.com/Anders_Forsman/Cult_of_Luna.html
    (may take a while to load)

  7. Would it not be better for the camera to shoot video instead, then exterminate every second frame, or something similar, to get the same effect.

  8. “Better” is a relative term, and I think it depends on the result you’re trying to achieve.

    To me, being able to shoot 12MP RAW at 8fps is “better” than shooting 2MP 1080p video @ 24fps and then dropping every 2nd & 3rd frame.

    It gives you better colour correcting/grading abilities as you’re working with 12Bit RAW files, and you have some pan & zoom options as the images are rather large – like with any other timelapse.

    While we’re around the subject of music videos though (thanks for that link Jani, hadn’t seen that), this one’s pretty good.

    1DMk3 @ 10fps using Profoto Pro-8a strobes (been wanting to have a go at something like this on a much smaller scale with SB-900s for a while).

    Behind the Scenes

    The Music Video

  9. Tore,

    You can see my comment to Chung above about that. You technically can do that but it doesn’t look good… looks like you faked it. I tried it and didn’t like it at all.

  10. This was done, before video came to DSLR .
    done with 1ds mark 2 and 1d mark 3
    burst mod – 10fps. actors were told to freeze while buffer reccovered. Pure torture to shot, but pure joy end results.
    done in 2007

    Wrong turn

  11. Pingback: Retro-looking Home Video Created with a Canon 7D in Burst Mode

  12. Pingback: cosmic|techie » Retro-looking Home Video Created with a Canon 7D in Burst Mode

  13. Pingback: Retro-looking Home Video Created with a Canon 7D in Burst Mode | takethelenscapoff.com

  14. Pingback: Video Created From Photographs Taken in Burst Mode | PhotoWeeklyOnline INC.

Leave a Comment